The role of religion in female labor supply: Evidence from two Muslim denominations
This paper investigates the association between religion and female labor market outcomes using new micro-level data on two distinct Muslim denominations in Turkey: Sunni and Alevi Muslims. We find a positive and significant association between being an Alevi Muslim and female labor force participation and employment, whereas there are no significant differences in male labor market outcomes between the two denominations. We provide evidence that Alevi Muslims have more gender-equal views regarding the role of women in the labor market and consider themselves as more modern. Both Sunnis and Alevis consider themselves as believers in religion (Islam). However, Sunnis are more likely to abide by the rules of religion. We argue that differences in views on gender roles and self-identity regarding modernity between the two denominations drive the results on female labor market outcomes. © Université catholique de Louvain 2022.